Having the chance to raise children is such a wonderful blessing. This is true for both people without a relationship with God as well as believers in Christ. However, if you do happen to be a person of faith, then it is very important for you to pass a spiritual heritage onto your children that they can then pass onto their own children. The following tips that I chose for this article are definitely not a complete list, however they are things that I think are essential for raising your children in a Christian way. These tips are not in order of important necessarily but consider these recommendations.
- Put Christ as the first priority in your life
Of course, this is easier said than done. We do need to be aware that at all times we are teaching our children. Even when we are watching television, we are teaching our kids something (like what we consider to be interesting or appropriate or funny). When we are raising our children, it is important for them to see us putting Christ first consistently in everything we do, which includes our time (putting Christ first on Sunday, and not travel plans or sports) and our money (show and teach your children that you give to the church’s local ministry).
- Model what Christians should look like
In the Bible it talks about how God is Holy and we are encouraged to also be Holy. We can’t ever be perfect the way Christ was. However, perfection isn’t what being holy is all about (like Jesus) but has a meaning more of being set apart. What that means is we are to be and act in a different way compared to the outside world. It should be apparent to other people that we are believers in Jesus Christ. Not due to being pious and proud like Pharisees who stand on the corner of the street to pray, but so that our neighbors and friends can tell that we are different based on how we act as well as interact with the world and one another. We should have different marriages (unfortunately the divorce rate for marriages in the church are not always all that different than those outside of the church) since we are following Christ’s example. He loved the church (his bride) and laid his life down for it. Of course your children will definitely know you are not perfect but they still should know you are authentic (the same that you are on Sunday mornings and real in your daily life).
- Make your family a priority
Your relationship with God should come first, then your commitment to your family, and dedication to work is third. Your family should be a top priority. That might sound simple, however it is area that Christians frequently struggle with as they are so busy attempting to love others that they sometimes end up neglecting their families at home. For many ministers this can be a struggle. There is always someone to talk to or somewhere to be or a group to lead or a meeting to attend. In order to have a relationship with God that is healthy, it is important for your family to be a priority. Your children can tell whether or not they are a priority.
- Teach your children about God and the Bible
Having your children learn about God and the Bible needs to come from you as their parents. Of course the church can be very helpful with this, however don’t neglect your responsibility and duty to teach your kids about God. Of course the church is an excellent source, but it needs to begin with the parents. One great way is to ensure that there is plenty of religious literature throughout the home and even additions like this.
- Be sure to connect yourself with a church
It is important for your children and you to be connected with a church. As Christians it is an important aspect of our life blood to connect with other believers on a regular basis. It is very important for your children as well since they will tend to have friends who are outside of the church also who have not been raised in a Godly way and may be bad influences on your children’s lives. Certainly other Christian children won’t be perfect, but frequently will have much better value systems compared to those kids who are outside of the church. There are some parents who think it is fine to just drop their kids off at church and then go home and sleep. That is a very bad message to send to your children. It is something they will see right through very quickly.